Why Some People Just Can't Say No

October 20, 2014 8:47 PM

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Why Some People Just Can't Say No

You're sitting in a nice restaurant with your family. You've eaten your salad and your entrée, and you're absolutely stuffed. Then the pastry chef wheels out the dessert tray. Even though you're full, the cakes, pies and puddings cause your mouth to water. Unbelievably, you hear yourself ordering the triple-layer chocolate cake with ganache and raspberry filling. And when the waiter brings this six-inch-high slab to the table, you wolf down every last morsel (and you seriously consider licking the plate). Later you wonder, Why did I order and eat dessert when I wasn't even remotely hungry and I knew I'd need an extra hour (at least) of high-impact aerobics to work it off?

The answer to this question is actually quite simple. You did it because your brain is preprogrammed to respond to the anticipatory pleasure of dessert, even when you're not hungry. And it's not just sweets that precipitate this reaction. Alcohol, addictive drugs, salty foods, spending, gambling, ro...

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